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Alextronic Discovery
An Electronic Discovery Blog covering News, Articles
and Thoughts for the Legal and Corporate Community Author: Alexander H. Lubarsky, LL.M., Esq. - alubarsky@enterusa.com - Tel. (415) 533-4166 OR 800-375-4222 THIS BLAWG IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE WEB SITES WWW.DISCOVERYRESOURCES.ORG OR WWW.DISCOVERYRESOURCES.COM


Monday, August 09, 2004

Disappearing Data...  

8.9.2004

That Damned Delete Key.

We've all heard that the delete key is a misnomer. Delted data can be recovered by forensics experts and high school kids who can score more than ten thousans points playing the latest edition of Tomb Raider.

Some things we may not be aware of when it comes to the controversial delete key follow:

- The delete key does not do away with data. It simply takes your data from one organizational index (accessible from your desktop) and 'moves' the 'deleted data' to another area accessible from your hard drive.'- Utilities with apt names such as "evidence eliminator" and "data scrubber" can delete data in a rather pemanent fashion. However, that being said, forensics experts have been known to be able to reverse the damage caused by these utilities. The 'data scrubbing' companies are trying to out do the forensics nerds and the forensics nerds keep reinventing that rollin' anti-scrub wheel so the cat and mouse escapade continues ad infinitim.

- Surefire ways to delete data may include multiple reformats of the storage media and then use of that same media so that sectors are overwritten.

- Even if data is actually and completely deleted, it is often the case that it lives elsewhere in undeleted splendor (think backup tapes, e-mail attachments that may have been delivered and on paper if it was ever printed).

- Attorneys have been known to subpoena backup media as well as 'live' hard drives and network servers to locate the purportedly 'deceased' nugget of data. Often one or more of these alternate mediums will bear fruit. Attorneys have even been known to subpoena third party data carriers (such as hotmail or yahoo or netwizards) to obtain the ISP or web based e-mail provider's copy of the smoking gun.

So next time you hit your delete key, don't be too confident that your little file is saying bye-bye for good.

posted by Alexander | 5:56 PM

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